With disappointing results from his foreclosure rescue program and an election year on the horizon, President Obama last fall set his sights on refinancing, specifically helping borrowers who owe far more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program(HARP) kicked into gear at the beginning of this year and has been very popular, with some banks reporting its share at about 30 percent of all refinances.
The idea of HARP was not only to help underwater borrowers stay afloat with payments but also to put more money in their pockets, which in turn could serve as a wider economic stimulus. That’s all well and good when interest rates are hovering around record lows. Now, thanks to an improving economy, mortgage rates are rising.